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Originally adapted by director Paul Verhoeven in 1990, author Philip K. Dick's classic Sci-Fi short story We Can Remember It for You Wholesale returns to the big screen in this remake starring Colin Farrell, Bryan Cranston, and Kate Beckinsale, and directed by Underworld's Len Wiseman. The planet has been decimated by nuclear war in the late 21st century, leaving only two nations -- the United Federation of Britain and the Colony. Douglas Quaid (Farrell) is a factory worker with a stable job and a loving wife (Beckinsale), but upon learning that a company named Rekall could grant him the memory of the ultimate espionage adventure, he decides that a virtual vacation is better than no vacation at all. But in the midst of having the new memories implanted, something goes haywire. Still strapped to the chair as the system breaks down, he's branded a spy as the authorities close in, and quickly flees for his life. Later, Quaid discovers that he has a secret identity, and he joins forces ...
Cohaagen would have told the most senior officer, Lori, to not kill Hauser from the outset. And why send in his most senior officer to do such a mundane job as nursemaid to Quaid in the first place? See more »
There is also a 130-minute extended cut, which has the following changes that makes the original story more complex and clarifies certain plot lines:
The first major change is that due to Ethan Hawke's appearance as the original Hauser, it has been clarified that Hauser becomes Quaid via memory wipe and a facial transplant. Also, rather than being converted by the resistance, it was revealed that Quaid was implanted into the resistance, with past memories to be re-implanted after completion by Cohaagen (evident by a line from him to Lori: "Neutralize only, do you understand me? No lethal force. I want him alive for re-implantation"). Subsequent scenes that appear throughout in the theatrical version have been replaced with material matching the plot point, mostly significant in his London apartment and after the raid at the resistance hideout.
The second major change is the relationship of Matthias and Melina, which is revealed and clarified as father and daughter in the new cut. Subsequent scenes that appear throughout in the theatrical version have been replaced with material matching the plot point, mostly significant after the raid at the resistance hideout.
A slight longer prologue while Quaid removes the locks on the grid as Melina covers him. He admits that he loves her and they kiss for a moment before she fires again at the pursuers after once the locks have been removed.
On the way to work, Quaid passes an ID-check and a electronic scanner. Harry complaints that he couldn't adjust to the new shift but the extra allowance makes up for it.
Harry argues that he had instructed the last new guy who, in subsequence, was fired by the supervisor. The supervisor orders Doug to do so and leaves.
In this cut, the conversation is now at the government official's room instead of the shift supervisor's room. The government official tells him that he's doing a loyalty check on workers to ensure they are not involved in any coup d'etat activities. Quaid behaves quite hostile here, but begrudgingly signs the loyalty form when told that he risks losing his job for not signing it.
After work, in The Fall, he now sleeps and has a recurring dream rather than staying awake.
The bar scene with Quaid and Harry is slightly longer: Harry asks why Quaid isn't happy with his life then asks who is the girl in the dream he had, which Doug says there's no girl; Harry also completes the line: "And go home to your wife."
On the way to the Rekall center, there's a longer moment between Quaid and the three-breast hooker with sparse shots of robot women hookers on the way.
Hammond (Quaid's partner in the enforcement) tells his cover name is Henry, before Quaid goes to the bank. At the bank, Quaid had some problem with the routine signature match procedure before he goes to the vault.
The confrontation between Harry, Quaid and Melina was longer in separate bits: Harry is trying to convince Quaid that the whole situation now was a result of a trauma from a chemical fantasy; he reveals that he was worried about him in the bar and had followed him to the Rekall facility; when asking about why Harry wears a bulletproof vest, he says he was trying to help him out of the hallucination, while Melina insists that the whole situation is real. Quaid gets confused doesn't know who to believe; Melina loses patience and utters angrily that Harry should tell Quaid the truth or she would kill him; Harry symbolizes Melina as Quaid's frustration and unhappiness.
In the Fall, Quaid sneaks pass two policemen. A computer voice warns that the Colony (rigged with a bomb) is due in 17 minutes. Later Melina enters there through a shaft below the upper platform.
Just before the end, Quaid removes the bandage over the spot where the Rekall injection tattoo was burnt into. It's no longer there. He's confused and Melina asks him whether he's alright.
I was completely exhausted after seeing this film. If you like chase scenes and a lot of action, then this is the film for you. I think that people who have seen the original Schwarzenegger version will not be too thrilled with this film, me included. In the original film there were more mind games while this film is diluted with action sequences. I am not saying that the action parts were not good, there was just too many of them. I have to say that the futuristic look of the United Federation of Britain and The Colony (Australia) was pretty cool; although there were times that I thought that I was watching a video game. Also, the concept that you could travel between the two locations (which are on opposite sides of the earth) in roughly 17 minutes in a tube called "The Fall" was utterly ridiculous. I can't even imagine how fast that thing would have to travel to do what it does. Colin Farrell (Douglas Quaid/Hauser) was not all that engaging. This is not necessarily his fault because the dialog was pretty bland and boring. By the end of the film I really did not care what happened to him, I just wanted it to be over. Kate Beckinsale (Lori Quaid) and Jessica Biel (Melina) were formidable as two butt-kicking adversaries, although I have to say that Kate's character kind of reminded me of the female terminator. She was relentless in trying to track down Hauser. I am always happy to see a woman cast as a tough, larger than life super human. Bokeem Woodbine (Harry) was convincing enough as the best friend, but his dialog was no better than Colin's. I do not think that the film was all bad, but about an hour or so into the film I was wishing that I was back at ReKall. You are definitely going to need an energy drink after you watch this one because you will not be energized after seeing it; you will be worn out. Len Wiseman was definitely not a wise man for trying to redo this film. He should stick with the Underworld series and call it a day. This film really makes me long for Mars and the cheesy special effects in the original. I am giving this film a very weak amber light only because the action scenes were so well done.
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